Condo invaded by wharf borer beetles

These are the invaders: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharf_borer
I noticed these bugs last year around may so we had someone come out and spray the units and building. It helped a little but they are back this year. Turns out that pesticides are not the solution. At first I thought they were just harmless insects but it turns out these guys burrow into moist wood and lay their eggs. That is also why i'm posting in this group because i believe this is going to involve some repairing. I guess what i am trying to get at is how do we find these guys? Do i have to start tearing apart drywall and flooring till i find some moist / damp wood? Should i check around piping areas where leaks could be present and causing moisture in the wood framing? By the way the condo building is only 3 years old and is all brick on the outside. Any tips on how i can resolve this problem will be most appreciated.
Regards, Sapo
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On Jun 12, 10:23 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It would help if you gave us an idea where you live or where the condo building is located, N, S, E, W, waterfront, dessert??????
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Two obvious places to start -- first, make sure there's no buried trash pit left over from construction around the condo site. Many chintzy contractors will bulldoze a hole for construction debris and then rather than haul it off simply fill over it during landscaping. Signs of subsidence, etc., are clues.
Second and probably more likely is that there are leaks somewhere either in piping or roofs or drains or leaking toilet flanges, etc., etc., etc., that are simply seeps or otherwise hidden. Particularly suspicious would be if there are common laundry areas, etc.
In a condo setting, there's at least a reasonable chance the problem isn't necessarily even initiated in your unit; the condo organization should be involved as well although you certainly should verify there are no issues of the above in your own unit that won't necessarily be the root of the problem.
If you're unable to do this on your own, professional inspectors may be useful. Might turn to local extension office or land grant university for some advice as well.
--
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On Thu, 12 Jun 2008 08:23:21 -0700, tainocoqui wrote:

Insects have minimal goals in life: food, shelter, reproduction. Take away the food and shelter and they should disappear.
Remove any organic material or wet/rotten wood and dry things out a bit and you may find that you have destroyed habitat. Keep it that way and they should go away.
Meanwhile, you can easily obtain permethrin pesticides at any garden or home improvement center.
Clean up and spray perimeter of building inside and out.
--

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Franz Fripplfrappl
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You should not need to tear up the house to find the moist spots. A good home inspector with an infrared camera and handheld moisture meter can find most if not all the spots for you. It dosen't sound as though you are aware of any, just worried it could be wet. Follow the common sense advice of the other posters and you should be in good shape.
Most bugs need a path between the ground and the wood, eliminate that path and most bugs stay out.
Outside, use pressure treated lumber and anything in place that is not painted treat it with an insecticidal preservative like Jasco Termin-8 (same as pressure treatment).
A competent exterminator when aware of the species he is killing should be successful in treating the home. The generic pesticide they tried last year may have been used without consideration of what bug they were after.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

how/when/where it is appearing. What part of the country? Who identified the bug? Bug appearing only indoors? All units of the condo?
There have been some horror stories in Florida with fairly new developments being discovered to have tremendous amounts of moisture damage due to poor construction. One was a condo just a few blocks from us - fortunately the President of the condo board was an attorney. They had major repairs done, with most of the building being covered with blue tarps for more than a year. That and another development that I read about had a great deal of water damage because windows weren't properly installed and sealed up.
If your condo has a management company, they should have engineers and pest control contractors who are reputable.
Around these parts (Florida) the moist wood inhabitants are termites and carpenter ants. Carp. ants are easy to locate because they forage, mostly at dusk. They had begun to come indoors for food, but all the nests were outdoors, in damaged siding, fence and/or dead limbs of trees and shrubs.
If I had to look for entry points for any bug, I would begin with gaps around doors and windows, looking for areas not caulked. Any signs of damaged wood, such as blistering or peeling. Look into plumbing access panels for signs of water damage. Plumbing and electrical entries, and roofing should be inspected too.
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Thanks for all the information everyone. I really appreciate it. The location is Chicago, Illinois about 3 miles west from downtown. I'm going to take some pictures of the building and i'll post links to them here soon.
The building had some leaking problems in the beginning and I did see water get in through the windows. This happened the first year i moved in. I believe water was getting in through the roof but that was repaired. That may have set the stage for the investation though. / sigh
The 3rd unit hasn't sold yet so the developer still has control of the association. Its difficult working with them because they are way out in the suburbs and they don't speak English very well. After explaining the situation to them i don't believe they realize how big of a problem this could be. They are trying to sell the 3rd unit but my guess is they will have to disclose this problem to any possible buyers??? Also are they responsible for 1/3 of repair costs? I am guessing i should get a lawyer involved.
These are the pest we are seeing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wharf_borer I have found them pretty much everywhere in the condo and all 3 units have them. I have seen a few outsite but mostly inside, highest concentration being in two of the bathrooms and by the main entrance door to the building and the rear door of my unit.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Apparently, the critters are attracted to fungus. There may be even bigger, concealed problems due to fungus/mold growth.
I agree with you; it's time to bring in the big guns. Without them, you'll likely get nowhere with the developer.
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

board member, just unit owner? How does the idea of having the city building dept. check the place for construction defects and leaks strike you? Scares me :o) My city is worthless in that respect.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There are only 3 units in the condo? Bad news when it comes to legal action because you can't spread the cost very well. As for not speaking English in Chicago, if they can build or buy a building, they speak enough. I'll bet they would be able to read a letter from an attorney.
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